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Book and Media Reviews
January 24/31, 2007

Mental Health Policy

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2007;297(4):413-417. doi:10.1001/jama.297.4.415

This book is the outgrowth of the authors' desire to develop “an empirical scorecard that assessed how the well-being of people with mental illness has changed since the . . . late 1950s and 1960s and what forces have caused the evolution of care.” To this end they have collected and analyzed data that address changes in a wide range of areas: (1) the technology of treatment, (2) the financing of mental health services, (3) the supply of mental health services, and (4) the condition of the mentally ill with respect to quality of care, financial burden, and living conditions. Although specialists in each of these areas might have criticisms of the authors' assumptions or conclusions, those interested in mental health policy must be thankful that they have been willing to take on such an ambitious enterprise.